26 January 2007

New Companion, Old Earth - Prologue - Part 1

The tall, wiry man looked up from the screen he’d been intently staring at for the past ten minutes, ran a long-fingered hand through his tousled brown hair, then spoke to his companion. "So, Barcelona?" the Doctor asked. "Sound OK?"
The dark-haired young woman looked up from her seat on the room’s only bench, where she was intent on a book. "Barcelona? The planet where the dogs have no noses?" Saskia replied.
The Doctor quirked an eyebrow. "You've heard of it?"
"Heard? No. Read, yes. I also know that you were once going to take your previous companion, Rose Tyler, there."
The Doctor's usually open and friendly face became very still. "How do you know that?" he asked in a low voice full of menace.
Saskia raised her eyebrows at his tone. "I read Rose's diary in the TARDIS library."
Saskia glared at the Doctor. "You don't need to shout at me. It's in the library; if you didn't want it read, you should have removed it, shouldn't you?"
The Doctor looked faintly ashamed of his outburst. "Sorry. I'm sorry. What were you doing in the TARDIS library anyway?"
"I'm a scholar - a library is my natural habitat."
"You're a scholar? You never said." The Doctor sounded surprised.
"And you never asked. Since I came aboard the TARDIS you've pretty much ignored me. You've spent the past week since we left my planet tinkering with the TARDIS after we went through that really bad plasma storm. Do you always ignore your companions since Rose left?"

Saskia watched the Doctor's face intently. He was giving her a sharp look in which suspicion was warring with curiosity. She briefly wondered how far she could push him for a response that wouldn't provoke him to anger, but she had spent a week on board the TARDIS largely being ignored and she felt that it was about time he started paying attention to the fact that she was there. They'd come aboard the TARDIS to see off the last of the invaders, watching from space as the ships fled back to their home system, and then been caught in a plasma storm that had thrown them into the Time Vortex. It had left them literally hanging about whilst the Doctor worked on the repairs.

The Doctor swallowed. "No, I don't usually. I'm sorry."
Saskia smiled warmly at him. "It's OK. So - 20 questions?"
He suddenly grinned widely, chocolate brown eyes sparkling. "We could do that... If you want to?"
She shrugged. "Go for it!"
"How old are you?"
"Not as old as you, that's for sure!"
He grinned again. "Is that it?"
"Is that one of your 20 questions?" she countered, grinning back at him.
"Um, no, maybe not!"
"I'm 30," she said, relenting a little.
"Single or married?"
"Such a personal question, so early in the conversation! Worried about the 'domestic' situation, are you?" Saskia's grin was as cheeky as one of the Doctor's when he was in a teasing mood; she was remembering some of the comments Rose had recorded him making about her own domestic situation.
He raised one eyebrow. "Would you be surprised if I said I was a little concerned?"
"No, I wouldn't be surprised. Anyway, I'm single - never really been interested enough to find a fella."
"One sister, ten years my junior, but I haven't spoken to her for several years."
"Both dead, killed in a flyer accident 5 years ago." Saskia's tone was so matter of fact that the Doctor didn't rush to commiserate.

"What would you have done that morning if I hadn't grabbed your hand and told you to run?" he asked.
"I'd have run anyway!" Saskia answered, remembering that shocking moment just as she had been about to enter the Museum, when the first missiles had started burning out of the sky and into the buildings of her city. She had been frightened and angry in almost equal measure when the Rovians had arrived, but the Doctor's hand grabbing her own had been like a life raft to a drowning man. She hadn't hesitated to run for her life at his insistence.

"I must say, I was impressed at your speed," said the Doctor, smiling.
Saskia raised an eyebrow. "Why?"
"Most of the scholars I know aren't that fit – all that sitting about, reading dusty old books." He was definitely being cheeky, she could tell.
"Well until 5 years ago I still rowed competitively for my Academy. I haven't lost the habit of training daily."


Kirstie said...

Fantastic story Sass! I'm looking forward to reading more!

Michele said...

Thanks ! There will be more in due course... I'm on such a research burn at the moment - although I confess I've just spent 20 minutes getting them to Earth and the meeting with the two "historical" characters I wanted to whom I wanted to introduce them...

skippy said...

Sass, well done! I await for more!

Michele said...

Thanks - more to come, I promise...

Lee said...

Disappointed that there's not more yet...

Michele said...

Sorry ! Life - sleep and work have to be got through - there's only so much spare time and I'm using a lot of it for researching the historical context !

Kelly said...

Awesome, Michele! Great conversational style with the dialog. I'm lucky I came late to this party so I can read more at once :)

Michele said...

Thanks Kelly ! I'm glad you liked the dialogue...

Darth Hoob said...

Liking it so far fellow SFXer! ;)

Michele said...

Cheers DarthHoob!!